Masset Rollergirls show off some fast footwear at the John Lalonde Roller Rink. Among the great things about their Tuesday after-school rollerskating program is a total lack of frogs on the rink floor. (Haida Gwaii Observer files)

Masset Magic: Frog-free rollerskating and a different kind of First Aid

By Jana McLeod

The writer in me always wants to put things in my own words, but here is an important quote from the Northern Haida Gwaii Child & Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative:

“If I sprain my ankle, chances are you will know what to do. If I have a panic attack, chances are you won’t.”

Starting Nov. 6, the group is offering two training courses in mental-health first aid, with priority for people in the north end.

The first session, MHFA Basic, is for adults and the certificate requires 12 hours of course time. The second, MHFA Adults Who Interact with Youth, is for adults who work with youth ages 14 to 25 and requires 14 hours of course time. Register by Oct. 27 by calling Rachel at 250-626-6052, or by emailing Sandra at

Both sessions are training courses, not groups for personal sharing, but if you do need to talk I would suggest calling the Haida Health Centre (250-626-3911) for courteous and prompt attention. The counsellors are very skilled and the front desk can direct you to the person most suited to your needs.

Starting Nov. 13, you can register at the Haida Health Centre for an amazing body-mapping workshop addressing grief and loss. Just ask for Genevieve for any additional information. The naturopaths were just there as well. I think their next visit is early next year. I had craniosacral, but wasn’t brave enough for the acupuncture.

Another very good way to take care of you is to be very active. For me that means walking from The Ground coffee shop all the way to where my van is parked at the credit union.

When I was a child we had to do circuit training and there were a lot of extracurricular activities. I was even asked by my son if we played with dinosaurs at recess.

When it was cool back in the 19… well, long ago, I roller-skated a lot. One memory of that is totally running over a frog, I stopped for awhile after that.

But there’s no wildlife to contend with for the girls ages 10 to 16 who want to take up the sport now. It’s done in the safety of the John Lalonde Roller Rink located by the high school in Masset. You can meet at Tahayghen and they leave from there right at 3:05 p.m. Tuesdays. The chaperones will keep them busy until 5 p.m. If you need more information feel free to call Mariel Tecla McLeod at 250-626-5652. The best part? It’s free!

However, in town it appears we are not completely safe. I’ve had lots of bear sightings lately. On my way from Skidegate the other night we hit a small one — it was so heartbreaking. It ran away and my only hope is that he isn’t suffering anywhere. We did stop but stayed close to the car. I know of a few wandering around in Gaaw and have seen tracks and droppings out by our place.

Be sure to report sightings to conservation at 1-877-952-7277 and if there is imminent danger call the RCMP 250-626-3991. Please keep your garbage inside until it’s ready to be collected, and Dispose of your deer/fish carcasses outside of town. Another smart idea is not to throw food waste to the eagles within town limits.

Who loves Halloween!! It’s a time to go out and be someone different. I’ve been pretending to be a mature person for awhile now.

The Masset Haida Raiders and Skidegate Saints will each be hosting costume dances on Saturday, Oct. 28. The one in Masset will be at the Howard Phillips and the Saints one will be at Charlotte Community Hall.

God bless and take care.

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